Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


+ - Raising tax revenue in California from Medical Cannabis Sales->

Submitted by bobmerly
bobmerly (4013053) writes "With the latest in Cannabis News, Colorado, the first state to legalize marijuana, has shown other doubting states that this new industry – allowing for medical marijuana and casual Pot use provides an added additional source of medical supply and revenue. State governments should be interested because medical cannabis can help with national development through income obtained from taxation. Since Colorado made that epic move it has taken in $53 million in tax revenue. California can look to redeem similar benefits if it makes the step into the marijuana industry."
Link to Original Source

+ - How Does One Verify Hard Drive Firmware? 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In light of recent revelations from Kaspersky Labs about the Equation Group and persistent hard drive malware, I was curious about how easy it might be to verify my own system's drives to see if they were infected. I have no real reason to think they would be, but I was dismayed by the total lack of tools to independently verify such a thing. For instance, Seagate's firmware download pages provide files with no external hash, something Linux distributions do for all of their packages. Neither do they seem to provide a utility to read off the current firmware from a drive and verify its integrity.

Are there any utilities to do such a thing? Why don't these companies provide such a thing to users? Has anyone compiled and posted a public list of known-good firmware hashes for the major hard drive vendors and models? This seems to be a critical hole in PC security.

I did contact Seagate support asking for hashes of their latest firmware; I got a response stating that '...If you download the firmware directly from our website there is no risk on the file be tampered with." [their phrasing, not mine]. Methinks somebody hasn't been keeping up with world events lately."

+ - Ask Slashdot: parental content control for free OSs?

Submitted by m.alessandrini
m.alessandrini (1587467) writes "Children grow up, and inevitably they will start using internet and social networks, both for educational and recreational purposes. And it won't take long to them to learn to be autonomous, especially with all the smartphones and tablets around and your limited time.
Unlike the years of my youth, when internet started to enter our lives gradually, now I'm afraid of the amount of inappropriate contents a child can be exposed to unprepared: porn, scammers, cyberbullies or worse, are just a click away.
For Windows many solutions claim to exist, usually in form of massive antivirus suites. What about GNU/Linux? Or Android? Several solutions rely on setting up a proxy with a whitelist of sites, or similar, but I'm afraid this approach can make internet unusable, or otherwise be easy to bypass. Have you any experiences or suggestions? Do you think software solutions are only a part of the solution, provided children can learn hacking tricks better than us, and if so, what other "human" techniques are most effective?"

+ - ORNL 3D Prints Working Shelby Cobra Replica — President Obama Approves->

Submitted by ErnieKey
ErnieKey (3766427) writes "In 2014, we saw the first 3D printed car by a company called Local Motors. Already in 2015, we have seen this company one-upped by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. They have 3D printed a working Shelby Cobra replica, which looks and feels like the real thing. On top of this "the vehicle turned out to be half the weight, and three times as strong as the original Shelby Cobra, with increased performance and safety." President Obama and VP Joe Biden got the first look and they approved."
Link to Original Source

+ - Peer-reviewed Study: MS Word is Superior to LaTeX

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A study recently published in PLOS ONE has compared MS Word to LaTeX and demonstrated that "...LaTeX users were slower than Word users, wrote less text in the same amount of time, and produced more typesetting, orthographical, grammatical, and formatting errors. On most measures, expert LaTeX users performed even worse than novice Word users... We conclude that even experienced LaTeX users may suffer a loss in productivity when LaTeX is used, relative to other document preparation systems. Individuals, institutions, and journals should carefully consider the ramifications of this finding when choosing document preparation strategies, or requiring them of authors."

Slashdot readers may also be interested in reading post-publication responses to the paper on PubPeer:

+ - Doppler radar used by police to determine home occupancy->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "http://pdfserver.amlaw.com/nlj...

"... Separately and as we alluded to earlier, the government brought with it a
Doppler radar device capable of detecting from outside the home the presence of
“human breathing and movement within.” All this packed into a hand-held unit
“about 10 inches by 4 inches wide, 10 inches long.” The government admits that
it used the radar before entering — and that the device registered someone’s
presence inside. It’s obvious to us and everyone else in this case that the
government’s warrantless use of such a powerful tool to search inside homes
poses grave Fourth Amendment questions. New technologies bring with them not
only new opportunities for law enforcement to catch criminals but also new risks
for abuse and new ways to invade constitutional rights. See, e.g., Kyllo v. United
States, 533 U.S. 27, 33-35 (2001) (holding that using warrantless thermal imaging
to show activity inside a home violated the Fourth Amendment). Unlawful
searches can give rise not only to civil claims but may require the suppression of
evidence in criminal proceedings. We have little doubt that the radar device
deployed here will soon generate many questions for this court and others along
both of these axes."

Link to Original Source

+ - License Plate Reader Technology Looks At Faces->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Police and private companies link facial recognition software to databases that track motorists.

The leading suppler of automated license plate reader technology in the US is expanding its offerings to law enforcement. Vehicle owners have already had their movements tracked by the company Vigilant Solutions, which boasts 2 billion entries in its nationwide database, with 70 million additional license plate photographs being added each month. Now passengers can also be tracked if they hitch a ride with a friend and are photographed by a camera aimed at the front of the car. The Livermore, California-based firm recently announced expanded integration of facial recognition technology into its offerings.

And the hits just keep on coming."

Link to Original Source

+ - Being Colder May Be Good For Your Health->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "If you live in a developed nation, you're probably pretty warm throughout most of the day. Enclosed spaces, thick clothing, and heating devices do a good job to keep the cold away. But this hasn't been the case for most of human history. Even in warmer climates, humans often had to deal with chilly nights and tough winters. That's where our metabolic system evolved, and now people are doing research to figure out if that's a better natural state for maintaining our health. One recent study found that "when people cool their bedrooms from 75 degrees to 66 degrees, they gain brown fat, the metabolically active fat that burns calories to generate heat." Another showed that "even after controlling for diet, lifestyle, and other factors, people who live in warmer parts of Spain are more likely to be obese than people who live in the cooler parts." The article talks about people letting their house temperatures drop into the 50s and wearing ice vests during the day, all in the name of further research."
Link to Original Source

+ - Researchers Discover an 'Off Switch' For Pain in the Brain-> 1

Submitted by concertina226
concertina226 (2447056) writes "Scientists working together from several international universities have discovered that it is possible to block a pathway in the brain of animals suffering from neuropathic pain, which could have a huge impact on improving pain relief in humans.

So far, the most successful ways to treat chronic pain from a pharmacological point of view are to create drugs that that interact or interfere with various channels in the brain to decrease pain, including adrenergic, opioid and calcium receptors.

However, there is another way – a chemical stimulator called adenosine that binds to brain receptors to trigger a biological response.

Adenosine has shown potential for killing pain in humans, but so far, no one has managed to harness this pain pathway successfully without causing a myriad of side effects.

Led by Dr Daniela Salvemini of SLU, the researchers discovered that by activating the A3 adenosine receptor in the rodents' brains and spinal cords, the receptor was able to prevent or reverse pain from nerve damage (the cause of chronic pain)."

Link to Original Source

Comment: it's the pulseaudio guy (Score 1) 613

by louden obscure (#47814055) Attached to: You Got Your Windows In My Linux

Um yeah, uh, no thanks. I hate pulseaudio, prolly cuz I didn't want it, it just showed up an upgrade or so ago on debian..
At least I can remove it and just rely on alsa, systemd prolly not so much. Quit fucking with debian. debian is not ubuntu. Why can't you just leave well enough alone? I'll just have to hang onto Wheezy as long as I can.

Have you reconsidered a computer career?